On July 13, Carver County held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the reopening of the Minnesota River Bluffs Regional Trail between Dell Road in Eden Prairie and Bluff Creek Drive in Chanhassen.
Heavy rains damaged a portion of the trail corridor in spring 2014, creating significant erosion and ultimately washing out an area of the trail with steep slopes. These substantial impacts made the trail unsafe for users and the segment closed to the public.
The closed status remained for nearly seven years due to challenges in securing funding to repair the damages, according to a Carver County press release.
In 2019, the county led a new approach, collaborating with the Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority. The rail authority expressed interest in selling trail property that was outside of the Hennepin County jurisdiction.
Through a grant opportunity via the Metropolitan Council, funded by the Environmental Trust Fund and Metropolitan Council bonds, the collaboration secured $1.7 million to purchase the property and complete the work. Six agency partners were involved in the project at various levels: the Hennepin County Regional Rail Authority, Three Rivers Park District, city of Chanhassen, city of Chaska, the Metropolitan Council and Carver County, the release stated.
Carver County purchased approximately three miles of trail length and 90 acres of property and now assumes maintenance and operational responsibilities of the trail corridor.